Yellow Pages Ad Design Tips For Success

Yellow Pages Ad Design Tips For Success


I was not only a Yellow Page consultant for 25 years, but I also have a degree in advertising design. Therefore, I used to create the ads for all my customers, many drawn right on the spot. That was before computers when I carried a sketchpad and a slew of fine point markers. Whether you use a computer graphics program or the old-school method I employed, the result should be the same. You must produce an eye-catching and communicating ad, that contains all the elements that will get results. There are only a few basic concepts to remember and enact.

1. The size: Make it large enough to be seen and compete within your budget. Choose size over color options to allow for all the room needed to get your message across. If you are making multiple ads, place the largest ad in the most competitive heading.

2. The layout: The simplest way to design a display ad would be to place a large, bold headline at the top, a sub-title under that and a photo or picture somewhere, if there is space. Don’t add a picture if it sacrifices important sell copy.

3. The headline: Unless your name is a brand like Goodyear or Allstate, go with a feature or benefit instead. You can always place your name by the phone number at the bottom. Write a headline that’s short and to the point that invites the reader to learn more.

4. The picture: If you must have one, it should make a point. Displaying a photo of a truck in a plumbing ad says nothing about your company. Decide if a picture will really sell your business or should you use the space more effectively with copy.

5. The copy: This is where you explain the details of what you have to offer. Simply listing them as bullets can do the trick. They must contain your features and benefits.

6. The communication area: Now is the time to have your contact info such as your name, address, phone number, website, email, fax, cell, or other method to reach you. Make the main number largest and include a map if you are a retail type store and have the room.

There are several other options, which I shall now address.

7. Fancy borders: They do very little to enhance an ad or sell the company. Often times they just take up additional space while adding very little. A basic thick black line can be enough.

8. Strange typefaces: They might be too cute or hard to read. Stick with the traditional fonts that will convey your words easily.

9. Photos of people: Many insurance agents, lawyers, medical professionals, and even store owners love to see their photos in their ads. Unless it’s part of a local media campaign where everyone is looking for your particular face, find another use for the picture or artwork.

Advertising design is neither a science nor an art. It’s uses common sense and should display the information in a clean, precise manner. One way to uncover good design is to peruse the directory and see what attracts your attention. Ask your friends and family what they like and which ad they would call. Take notes and form the basis of your ad employing the various elements that do the most good.

And for more details, consult my book that lists everything discussed here and much more in depth. “Inside the Yellow Pages” is a bible for creative design and many cost-saving ideas. It’s available on my website and amazon.


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